Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sipadan, Mabul - Tips on choosing Chalet / Homestay

Salam and hi all.

This is just a short and quick tips on choosing a place to stay in Mabul Island. The reason i blog about this is because i was having a hard time choosing the right place to stay while googling about it 5 months back. There were not many infos on the net and i had mix review about everything.

First thing you should know, you can't stay (sleep/overnight) at Sipadan Island. Only day trip is allowed. So, the only thing you can do is to choose whether to stay at Mabul Island, Kapalai Island or at Semporna.

I don't know about Kapalai Island, so i'll skip that.

From my personal opinion- The chalet at Mabul Island are fall into 2 categories:
The Expensive Chalet and The Budget Homestay.

The Expensive Chalet:
1- Sipadan Water Village Resort
2- Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART)
3- Mabul Water Bungalow

If i were to choose between that 3, i'll pick Sipadan Water Village. it's so cool! and pricey too! :(

* i had no idea that there are different rates for Malaysian. cis betul lah.
*Malaysian- make sure you contact and asked for their quotation.

The Budget Homestay
1- Billabong Scuba Diver

We stayed at Billabong Scuba. BS provides basic facilities. suitable for backpackers. not suitable for family because it's kinda hurm.. too basic. but the house is very clean. i like the service because they are very flexible. bayangkan lah, kitorang stay 4 hari 3 malam, tapi kitorang asyik tukar plan ikut suka hati kitorang je. kalau saya la tuan punya homestay, dah lama dah saya kick out group saya tu. tak pun campak je dalam laut sebab banyak cekadak sangat. wakakakkaa.

ini lah rumah kitorang :)

So that's the great things about Billabong. They are very understanding! :)
Billabong Scuba provide the cheapest price. mainly because they owned the house and have all the equipments. and the most important thing : they can GUARANTEE you to get the permit to Sipadan Island because not every chalet/homestay can get the permit. even some of the other homestay have to liaise with Billabong. Sebab tu harga homestay lain agak mahal sikit sebab dorang mark up harga.

note: whatever it is, you have to book early to get to Sipadan Island.

Another thing yang best pasal Billabong, dorang sangat lah baik hati dan harga boleh runding :) kitorang pinjam Snorkel, Life jacket dan fin untuk saja-saja pergi tengok Bajau Laut FREE je. Tu belum kira sewa kamera underwater lagi. the price for underwater camera rental is very reasonable too! memang terbaik lah Billabong nih! :)

Condition rumah je yang tak best. toilet kena share di luar (shared bathroom at the outside). no air-conditioner, only a standing fan in each room. huhu. other than that, i think they are good enough (^___^)v

*note: there's NO ELECTRICITY during day hour (7am-6pm). and i think it's not only at Billabong, but it's all the same for all homestay in Mabul. (the cheap/budget homestay)

Total Spent: less than RM1000! [4d3n=including meal + discovery scuba diving+airport transfer + boat transfer]

Sphere Diver

Same with Billabong - a budget homestay, but they got very comfortable and nice house. It's nice for family to stay here. Toilet at the outside, but much better than Billabong. Probably because it's new. Sphere Diver's rates are the same with Billabong, but they can't guarantee you to go to Sipadan Island. Sometimes they have to send divers (Sphere Diver's guest) to Billabong if they don't have enough permit.

Tokei dia pun macam baik je. sangat friendly :)

3- Scuba Jeff
- check their price at the website

4- Arung Hayat
- check their price at the website

There are few more, but i can't remember the name (-__-")

If you don't want to stay at the island itself, you can take daily trip from Semporna. but i wouldn't recommend it. You'll waste your time by doing so! but anyway, there are few lodge, hotel and chalet at Semporna such as:

1.Seafest Hotel
2. Uncle Chang
3. Big John
4. Scuba Junkie
5. Dragon Inn
6. etc

*They provide Snorkeling & diving package too! and some of them have chalet in Mabul.
*You can find all of them at Semporna Ocean Tourism Centre. They are all located in there except Seafest Hotel and some other backpacker lodge*

So there you go.
I know it's nothing much, but I hope this will help you in choosing a place to stay at Mabul Island :)


DrSam said...

nice write up on your recent trip. I am planning to go there with my family. This is surely a big help. Thank you.

{travel junkie lady} said...

hye DrSam!~
it's nothing much, tho. am glad i could help.

thanks for dropping by. enjoy ur trip! =)

Kambing Corp. said...

kalau pakej honeymoon, digalakkan ke buat kat Billabong tu? hoho.
Sipadan Water Village punye harga standard brape? ;D

{travel junkie lady} said...

err..kalau x kesah dgn keadaan yg panas dan bilik yg kecik, toilet kat luar, boleh la kot. tp sanggup ke? haha.

klu yg jenis adventure & tak kesah psl accomodation (dan tadak duet.hehe), billabong is a nice place la. staff2 sumer baik.

x sure rate sipadan water village. quite expensive. tp i ada baca review 4d3n rm1000++. tp better u call SWR terus kot2 ada pakej murah.

fara-D said...

oh. i've been searching for a place to stay there too!ur post ni helps quite a lot! thanks for the tips, dear! ^.^v

{ w33da } said...

fara: no sweat, hun. i like to share useful info (and useless too! hehe)

thanks 4 reading :)

ElyaElmo said...

TQ dear...the info really2 helpful....maybe will contact u some time to know more...can i???since I'm planning to have a nice holiday at the island..huhu

Gil Ra Im said...

of course u can :) u can contact me at miss[dot]ttjl[at]gmail[dot]com.

btw, pls leave comment here to inform if u've sent the email to me, sbb jarang bukak emel tu. hehe~

LM the Traveler said...

thanks for the info. and how much for the underwater rental ye? nak gi sana hjg bulan ni.

Gil Ra Im said...

hi LM! kitorg kena byr dlm rm30 je kalau x silap. tp tu sebab kitorg used our own sd card. dive pun tak lama, dlm sejam lebih/2 jam je.. :)

framichele said...

Thanks for the informations and pictures: I hope to come there next year...